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Rave For American Stitches


ol' yeller
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The one ugly thing on my 1990 coupe was the ratty, shredded leather steering wheel. I did a search on this forum and found American Stitches recommended by Barney. They did a fantastic job on a spare wheel I located at a wrecking yard with only a 5 day turnaround (not counting shipping). They have a discount for Reatta BCA members too. I can't wait to put the new wheel on my car but I need to search here for instructions on dealing with an airbag (a new experience for me). I know I have seen postings here in the past. If there are any gotchas that you want to share, please let me know. It would be a shame to have a beautiful steering wheel with a blown airbag!

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They do a great job, thinking about a custom wheel for my new pick-up to brighten the dull interior.<P>Pull the air bag fuse.<BR>Remove the 4 torx screws on the back of the wheel that hold the air bag, disconnect the yellow air bag connection, disconnect the horn connection (push in, turn counter clockwise)<BR>Remove wheel nut, need puller for wheel.<BR>Reverse procedure.<P>While it is extremely remote that the air bag could trigger, (it takes 12v or a static discharge to the connection), don't put your face in front of it as you disconnect or remove it from the car.

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Thanks Barney, Last night I looked up in my somewhat worthless New Product manual and found the procedure. They also recommend that you disconnect the battery for at least 10 minutes before you begin. I will put the new wheel on today.<P>I am very pleased with these guys as they build the new wheels for some new car manufacturers. When I get to that point, I will send them the wheel for my '69 Riv to pad and cover in leather for a sharp different kind of look. It ain't cheap but little worth having is.

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Guest Ranger

FYI, when the locksmith replace the ignition on my '90, their rule was to disconnect the battery and leave it alone for 1/2 hour before pulling the steering wheel. When everything went back together, the car wouldn't idle. I turned the key to the on position and left it there for 60 seconds, it resumed normal operation.<BR>Please let us know how the new wheel works out, I'm ready to replace the Walmart jelly red wheel cover on mine.<BR>Jim

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I did it! Man it looks great! If I had the correct tools (a Torx bit in a socket rather than a Torx screwdriver) it would have gone faster. There isn't much clearance there. I was more than a little nervous while handling the airbag and on restart after assembly, but nothing blew-up in my face. <P>My understanding is that when the ECM loses power, it goes to default values there it stays until it "relearns" how you drive and how that particular engine functions. This is a relatively short period but someone with greater electronic skills than I would have to say how long(or even if I know what I am talking about). I would think that it would idle though. Mine restarted great. Thanks everyone for your advice.

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I believe there is little to be concerned about on the airbag. All the warnings in the manual is lawyer, C.Y.A. types of statements.<P>If there were any percentage of these going off at ramdom, wouldn't that be happening when a truck load is rolling down a highway and they go over a RR crossing.<P>The explosive device needs an electrical signal....even then it might not go off if it lacked a ground.<P>Still....be careful<P>I have a '88-'89 tan wheel that was covered by American and I also have a '90-'91 grey wheel that is factory new. Both are for sale<BR>$200 each exchange or $225 outright.<p>[ 05-03-2002: Message edited by: Barney Eaton ]

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